Two men who were twice foiled when they tried to break into houses in Rugby because there were people at home have both been jailed.
Richard Reeve, 35, of Ashwood Court, Rounds Gardens, Rugby, and David Fielding, 28, of Ferndown Road, Rugby, had both admitted two charges of attempted burglary.
And at Warwick Crown Court Reeve was jailed for 12 months and Fielding, who had asked for four shoplifting offences to be taken into consideration, for eight months.
The court heard both offences took place on November 14, and prosecutor Ian Speed said: “At about 5pm these two were seen to leave the flats where Reeve lived, both of them wearing hoodies.
“A short time later they attempted to burgle an address in Bloxham Gardens, not too far from Reeve’s home.
“The occupier says he saw someone trying to get in through a side door, causing some damage to the door, but he disturbed them and they made off.”
Shortly afterwards someone living in Bilton Road heard a noise outside and saw two figures in the back garden, so went to the door and the two again made off.
But Reeve and Fielding were identified from their descriptions, and when they were arrested they both admitted the two offences.
Mr Speed said Reeve had previous convictions going back to 1995, including convictions in 2001, 2003 and 2007 for dwelling house burglaries.
But because his new offences were only attempted burglaries, rather than the completed offence, he was not facing a minimum three-year sentence.
Fielding also had previous convictions, but mainly for shoplifting to get money from drugs.
David Everett, for Fielding, said the addresses had not been targeted, and the two men had simply gone to houses where they thought people would be out – and as soon as they realised they were occupied, they made off.
“He says he was desperate for money for drug issues, and is now getting help for that while in custody.”
He pointed out that when the magistrate had committed Fielding to the crown court for the attempted burglaries, they had jailed him for six weeks for a shoplifting offence.
“If it had been sent to the crown court with these matters, the chances are it would have been a concurrent sentence, but the way it was dealt with means he’ll effectively be serving consecutive sentences.”
Nigel Stelling, for Reeve, said that after being released from a short sentence in 2011 for a non-dwelling burglary, he kept out of trouble for the whole of 2012, which was ‘a unique achievement in his case.’
The reason was the birth of his son, and he felt he was making considerable progress in putting drugs and offending behind him.
Mr Stelling said Reeve came up with an idea for a charitable project to help disabled people go fishing, ‘and he worked tirelessly over a period of months’ putting the scheme together and getting funding for it.
“That is the first positive thing he has ever done, and he is rightly proud of that achievement and of having done something worthwhile.”
But when his relationship with his partner broke down it led to him not being able to have contact with his son, and he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope and found himself ‘back where he was pre-October 2011.’
“He is acutely aware that by his stupidity he risks throwing away all he has achieved. Other people are going to suffer as a result of him going to prison, because he suspects the project will just fizzle out without him to drive it on.”
Jailing the two men, Recorder Keith Raynor told them: “I have considered suspending the sentences, but I have decided against it and the sentences will be immediate.”